New Zealand kakapo parrot dies

This is a BBC kakapo video.

From 10,000 Birds blog:

80 year old ‘Richard Henry’, the near-legendary Kakapo which helped ensure the survival of a species once thought extinct, has died. Discovered in 1975 living a bachelor’s life in New Zealand’s fiordland, Richard Henry provided vital genetic diversity when the very last isolated group of this Critically Endangered parrot were found on Stewart Island in the 1980s and taken into captivity for breeding.

While Kakapos are still extremely rare there is little doubt that without the efforts of Richard Henry the species would be in a far more parlous state than it is now. Rest well, old fellow.

See also here.

May 2011. Six of the 11 kakapo chicks hatched on Whenua Hou (Codfish Island) this breeding season have been transferred to a hand rearing facility in Invercargill. Kakapo Recovery programme manager Deidre Vercoe Scott said the healthy chicks would be hand-reared for up to eight weeks, before being returned to Whenua Hou: here.

April 2011. New Zealand has lost an internationally acclaimed conservation pioneer with the death of Don Merton. Don Merton, who was a senior member of the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) scientific staff prior to his retirement in 2005, led the fight to help save both the kākāpō and the black robin from extinction: here.

July 2011. Sirocco the kākāpō is to visit Wellington’s award winning eco-sanctuary: Zealandia. Wellington has never before hosted an adult kākāpō – the world’s rarest parrot. Seeing one is a unique and, until recently, exclusive experienc: here.

Olfactory sensitivity in Kea and Kaka: here.

The numbers of the once-thought extinct, Yellow-eared Parrot have increased to their highest levels since the species was found on the brink of extinction in 1998, when just 81 birds were found in one flock surviving in a remote mountainous area of Colombia: here.

Parrots join apes and Aristotle in the club of reason: here.

The Andes of southern South America form a hostile mountain range with glaciers, salty deserts and meagre high elevation steppes. Birds from more moderate climate zones cross this mountain range only rarely. Nevertheless, many species live on both sides of the Andes, as in the case of the Burrowing Parrot Cyanoliseus patagonus. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, together with colleagues from the University of Freiburg and the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology, Viena, found that the ancestral population of the Burrowing Parrot occupied what is today Chile, and from there only a single crossing of the Andes was successful: here.

Stewart Island robin: here.

5 thoughts on “New Zealand kakapo parrot dies

  1. Kakapo studs get job done


    Last updated 05:00 09/03/2011

    Fertility rates of kakapo on Codfish Island are growing as dud males are weeded out of the breeding mix.

    Department of Conservation Southern Islands area manager Andy Roberts said 20 eggs had been laid on Codfish, west of Stewart Island, this year and of those 15 were fertile, about 25 per cent more than eight years ago.

    The figures follow the birth of three kakapo chicks on Codfish Island in the past week, which has increased the endangered species population to 123.

    DOC is still waiting for eight eggs to hatch, while a further four embryos have died.

    However, the increase in fertility was great news for the kakapo recovery programme and while it was unknown what caused it, scientists believed it was the result of removing dud males, help from artificial insemination and increased bird numbers, Mr Roberts said.

    Males that did not perform well were basically “put out to pasture” on another island and the increased competition between the growing population on codfish seemed to help fertility rates, he said.

    “You have your duds and your studs, and your duds are usually put on other islands. It is like a stud farm operation I suppose, but it just takes a while (for the breeding season) to come around again,” he said.

    Kakapo breeding coincided with the fruiting of rimu trees about every three years, but the amount of eggs this year was less than the last season because of a lack of fruit believed to be caused by the large snow fall in September, he said.

    DOC kakapo ranger Jo Ledington was disappointed the snowstorm destroyed much of the fruit seed, but said the three new chicks were doing well.

    “Nothing is easy when you’re dealing with such a small population, but it’ll be fantastic to have a few more chicks running around,” she said.

    No more eggs will be laid this season and the amount of chicks born should be known by the end of the month.

    – The Southland Times


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  3. Pingback: Kakapo die in New Zealand | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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